Series 3 lock-up problems

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by jscozz, Aug 2, 2007.

  1. Aug 2, 2008 #561 of 847
    mrdazzo7

    mrdazzo7 Well-Known Member

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    Just to update, I received the full version of 9.4 today and it threw my S3 into a reboot loop until i eventually unplugged the coax, and it booted up fine. As of right now, the problems are still 100% in effect. I swear to god I'm about one week away from getting cablevisions' DVR. I hate it, but CHRIST, at least it works! Tivo should seriously be ashamed of themselves at this point--way to create a product that turns useless after a software UPGRADE.
     
  2. Aug 2, 2008 #562 of 847
    richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to hear that you're still having issues with your TiVo. Looks like you have a couple of options. Did you already try having your cableco check everything out and replace the cable cards? Some here have gotten things straightened out that way. It's a pain of course and not always a remedy, but might be worth a try.

    You can certainly kick it to the curb, but if it were me I'd be back on the phone with TiVo getting a replacement. IIRC you've had it for less than a year so it should fall under the $49 labor replacement charge. (Some folks have been able to press them for a free exchange.) Could the replacement have problems? There's no guarantees in life but odds are that it won't.

    I don't know how computer savvy you are but if you're willing to pull the TiVo hard drive and connect it to a PC you could try re-imaging it using Instant Cake which has worked for some (but not all).

    Then you have the option of replacing the TiVo hard drive completely, either using WinMFS or IC to image a fresh (larger?) drive or buying a pre-imaged drive from DVRUpgrade or Weaknees. That's worked for quite a few people. (AFAIK for everyone but I may have missed a post or two along the line.)

    Historically upgrades have caused some TiVo's to go crazy and some to die. There's plenty of speculation as to why, but whatever the cause, it's frustrating and it appears that you've been a TiVo user for a while now. Going to a cableco DVR would be painful if it's anything like the one's we had for a short time. Is it fair that TiVo's like ours have been working fine over the years and yours isn't? Or that you might have to spend some more money to get it working again? Of course not and you have a lot of folks sympathy here including mine. However unfortunately other than making it clear to TiVo that you're really unhappy, there aren't a lot of other choices.

    Best of luck and hope things work out!
     
  3. Aug 2, 2008 #563 of 847
    mrdazzo7

    mrdazzo7 Well-Known Member

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    I just called Tivo and put in for an exchange, as the rep agreed that it's a hard drive problem. I did the advance exchange and she put in next-day delivery so I should have it by Monday/Tuesday. I'd rather pay the $49 fee then try to install a new drive myself, since I'm a little slow when it comes to that stuff. I'll just get an eSata down the line if I need more space.

    So, here's to hoping the new box works because I don't know if my nerves can handle this for much longer. Plus we're teetering a little too close to the new season. All I can say is, thank god this happened in the summer.

    Wish me luck...
     
  4. Aug 3, 2008 #564 of 847
    richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Okay, we're all pulling for you! ;) Keep us posted. :up:
     
  5. Aug 4, 2008 #565 of 847
    Beachbum55

    Beachbum55 Member

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    I received the 9.4 update on my refurb S3 on Friday night. The only immediate issue that I noticed, was that the S3 didn't see my Pioneer Tivo box (but the Pioneer could see the S3). I restarted the S3 and all is well. Keeping my fingers crossed and knocking on wood that the S3 is stable...for now. :rolleyes:
     
  6. Aug 5, 2008 #566 of 847
    mickeymammoth

    mickeymammoth New Member

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    May 9, 2002
    Boulder, CO
    Oh no! My series 3 is exhibiting the dreaded slow menus/rebooting problem that is resolved by unplugging the coax. Am I right that this is a hard drive issue? I tried the 57 thingy, and that didn't help. I'm well out of warranty. Do I have to buy a new hard drive? Should I bother calling Tivo tech support?

    Background: About 2 weeks ago, pre-9.4 update, I noticed I wasn't getting an HD signal for one of my shows. It came back later that night. Then a week ago, post 9.4, all my HD channels stopped coming in. I called Comcast, and the tech support person was clueless, so they sent out a tech. He didn't do anything other than call headquarters and have them resend a signal or something. Then all the HD channels came back. Until tonight. Was taping an HD show, and kablooey. Rebooted a jillion times; did the 57 thingy, no joy. Unplugged the cable, watched some shows, plugged it back in and it was OK. But for how long?

    Any advice is welcome. I guess if I have to get a new hard drive or tivo, at least I can watch my shows on the old tivo by unplugging the cable...
     
  7. Aug 5, 2008 #567 of 847
    rcr2

    rcr2 It's you, not me.

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    Feb 3, 2007
    Monmouth...
    If you get a replacement unit on exchange from TiVo you WILL have to have a visit from Comcast to re-synch your cards.

    If you replace your drive using WinMFS yourself, you will NOT have to have a visit, as your cablecard settings will be preserved. Don't be scared. I was very nervous doing the operation, but it turned out to be very easy.

    If you get a replacement drive from Weakness, I'm not sure. I think you may have to have a re-synch, but have no experience with that.
     
  8. Aug 5, 2008 #568 of 847
    mickeymammoth

    mickeymammoth New Member

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    May 9, 2002
    Boulder, CO
    I guess I'll look into getting a new drive. Would hate to have to wait for Comcast to come out. Thanks for the advice!
     
  9. Aug 5, 2008 #569 of 847
    Beachbum55

    Beachbum55 Member

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    Jan 1, 2004
    I got a refurb S3 from Tivo and installed the cards and it worked out of the box. NO Comcast visit was required. Sounds like it's hit or miss.
     
  10. Aug 7, 2008 #570 of 847
    lancepa92

    lancepa92 New Member

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    Jan 19, 2007
    Got the 9.4 update earlier this week on my stock Series3 - with high hopes.

    Seemed fine for the first day, and I was even able to re-install my cable cards and get my digital and HD channels back.

    Last night, it froze again - just like with 9.3. However, I was able to un-freeze by disconnecting the coax. Immediately, the menus were moving fast again, and recorded programs were accessible and playable.

    Does this mean a hard drive replacement?
     
  11. Aug 7, 2008 #571 of 847
    greg_burns

    greg_burns Now in HD

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    Slower...
    Probably so... By "hardware issue", I assume he means bad drive.
     
  12. Aug 8, 2008 #572 of 847
    richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    I still think it has something to do with the minuscule 2MB of cache that the OEM TiVo hard drives have. Other than that, I can't imagine what the difference is between a stock TiVo hard drive and one you can buy off the shelf...which AFAIK takes care of the coax connection/freeze/reboot problem.

    Can't blame TiVo for not wanting to recall all of their boxes to replace the hard drive though...particularly since it only affects some boxes. But what a pain for the owners! :(
     
  13. Aug 8, 2008 #573 of 847
    greg_burns

    greg_burns Now in HD

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    Slower...
    Whoa. I never read that from TivoJerry statement. I thought he was saying the ones they tested showing the issue simply had a defective drive. Nothing more. I don't think he was implying all of their drives were defective.
     
  14. Aug 8, 2008 #574 of 847
    richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    True enough, although he wasn't specific, only saying that it was a "hardware issue". I don't think that (most) of the drives are actually "defective" either. It seems to me that v9.3x had some sort of change that put a higher demand on the system, requiring more than the OEM hard drives could handle, at least for quite a few boxes.

    IIRC many folks pulled and tested their OEM drives and they (the hard drives ;)) passed even the most stringent diagnostics, but they went ahead and replaced them and the problem coax/freeze issue disappeared. In my mind that says that it's a combination of the O/S software and the hardware, not that the OEM hard drives were actually failing.

    That TiVo was able to resolve at least some of the issues with v9.4 tells me that they went back and modified the code which in turn caused a change in the I/O data stream which in effect allows the OEM drives to function properly again.

    That non-scientific way of thinking led me to the conclusion that the reason upgraded drives worked while OEM drives didn't boiled down to the on-board cache differences (2MB for OEM's Vs 8MB to 32MB) for replacement drives.

    All speculation and WAG's on my part however. :)
     
  15. Aug 8, 2008 #575 of 847
    greg_burns

    greg_burns Now in HD

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    Slower...
    Yeah, but I would guess most used the opportunity to upgrade their drive. How many just reimaged the originally drive (since it passed muster) to see if is was just corrupted software? (How it got corrupted who knows, but it is just a computer afterall.) If the drive passes all tests, there is no reason it shouldn't live again with a fresh image.

    Mabe MickS will try just that to satisfy our (my? :p) curiosity.
    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=6561467#post6561467
     
  16. dennisdawg

    dennisdawg New Member

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    Sep 28, 2003
    Add one more to ther lock ups and reboots gang. Was working on Sunday. Went on a short trip, came back Wednsday and it doesn't work, just like in this thread. So, I guess I need to buy a hard drive? Is that the general thing?

    Says it is on 9.4.
     
  17. dennisdawg

    dennisdawg New Member

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    Sep 28, 2003
    . . . and Kickstart 57 leads to GSOD over and over, one S3 dead.
     
  18. Carlos_E

    Carlos_E Member

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    Mar 12, 2007
    NYC
    My S3 is doing the same thing. Locking up and rebooting. I also have 9.4.

    What are my options for repair? I called customer service and they're telling me I have to send my Tivo S3 back to them. Find a box to ship it in, pay for shipping, and pay $149 since I'm out of the 90 warranty. She also said when I send it back I *may* receive a Tivo HD instead since they're no longer selling the Tivo S3. I said to her why would I want an inferior DVR with less hours of recording time than the one I paid for? She didn't respond. Just silence.

    What are my options?
     
  19. greg_burns

    greg_burns Now in HD

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    Slower...
    Buy InstantCake and reimage your current drive.
    or
    Buy a new bare drive and use WinMFS to copy current drive to it (preserving settings)

    if that fails...

    Buy a new bare drive and InstantCake.
    or
    Buy a preformatted drive from DVR Upgrade or Weaknees.
     
  20. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Jan 4, 2003
    I'd echo Greg's post above as it does sound like the hard drive is failing (plus I'd keep the S3 and not risk getting a THD). But just for kicks (forgive the pun) you might want to try running TiVo's diagnostic programs called "kickstarts". It's worked for some, but not always.

    Replacing your hard drive is a fairly easy process if you're comfortable connecting a hard drive to a PC. All of the info you need can be found on this post (Section III, #30) and/or at mfslive.org. Or as Greg mentioned, you also have the option of buying a pre-imaged drive from DVRUpgrade.com or weaknees.com but they are considerably more expensive than doing it yourself either using winMFS or Instant Cake . The silver lining to all of this is that you can significantly increase your TiVo's recording time if you opt to replace the hard drive with a larger model! :up:

    Best of luck and let us know how it goes.
     

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